I recently bought a Hitachi 103B bread machine. It is one of those
whose directions call for ice water. I followed directions and
got hocky pucks.
So I have been playing around and thought others on the list might
be interested, as the hocky puck questions show up here occasionally :-)
What is working at the moment: (1 y.o yeast, stored in the freezer,
and room temps of around 80-85 degrees) is to proof the yeast (2 tsps)
in warm water with 1 TBS of sugar til it is quite foamy. (10 to 15
minutes), use the rapid bread cycle (2:30) and use enough water to
give the "normal" dough consistency. (Somewhat softer than handmade bread,
but a cohesive lump during kneading.) I am using a scant teaspoon of
pure gluten for regular flour, and no extra gluten with King Arthur's
french bread flour.
This give me bread all the way past the top of the pan. On regular
cycle it will run over. So hang in there, Hitachi's do work. It is
so much quieter than the DAK/Welbuilt R2D2 unit that I used to own.